Mizzou Engineer Receives IEEE IMS Graduate Fellowship

May 21, 2021

Portrait: Omiya Hassan

A Mizzou Engineering student’s research has received support from the world’s largest technical professional organization. Omiya Hassan was one of three recipients from around the globe to receive a Graduate Fellowship Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Instrumentation & Measurement Society (IMS).

“It gives me a huge confidence boost in my research,” said Hassan, who is in her third year of the doctoral program in electrical engineering. “Now I know what I’m doing has a significant impact on society. I’m doing something for the betterment of society, which aligns with the goal I came here with.”

The award and grant funding will support Hassan’s dissertation and research around using machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect sleep apnea. She and her research team are determining how to create different types of low-power machine learning models that can be embedded in digital hardware.

Sleep apnea is typically diagnosed in a clinic using nocturnal polysomnography. Patients are hooked up to equipment that monitors heart, brain and breathing activity, as well as oxygen levels in the blood. It’s an expensive process that requires patients to stay overnight, which could impact normal sleep patterns.

To develop the algorithms needed to apply machine learning to a new diagnoses method, Hassan is collaborating with the MU Health Management and Informatics (HMI) department to collect clinical data for training the models.

Once the machine learning models are finished, they will be designed and translated into digital circuits. Then, they will be sent to a fabrication lab to produce a chip that can be used in wearable devices, allowing individuals to diagnose sleep apnea from home.

“The grant will boost the instrumentation side of my research,” Hassan said. “The funding will help me in processing, fabricating and testing the chip.”

She is hopeful a prototype will be available by the end of 2022.

The IEEE IMS announced Graduate Fellowship recipients at this week’s International Instrument & Measurement Technology Conference — the society’s flagship conference — held virtually from Glasgow, Scotland.

“The first thing I thought was ‘Wow, they selected me?’ And that I couldn’t have done it without my supervisor,” Hassan said, referring to her academic advisor, Syed Kamrul Islam, chair of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. “He pushed me and has always supported me. I think I made him proud, as well.”